Thursday, July 26, 2012

Review: The Daves of Our Lives (Winnipeg Fringe)

by Nanette Soucy

Poor Dave. His wife is an angry harpy, his widowed step-mother’s been keeping secrets in a way that seems to cause her to gesticulate convulsively, and his daughter, the only teenage girl in history who greets her parents with “Hey Dudes” has brought home a friend who flirts with all the charm and grace of a cinder block who somehow becomes his paramour. All this would drive me to drink too.  I feel even worse for the actor playing him, however, because it seems as though he might have some chops. Mind you, it wouldn’t be difficult to play bored, tired and rolling your eyes at the badly played melodrama of it all when this is the script and these are the cast mates you’re stuck with. Melodrama and over-the-top cheese works when it’s done intentionally. Although The Daves of Our Lives may have been cast to highlight soap-opera-style bad schmacting, the point would have been better made by showing off the talent of good actors relishing in bad behaviour, rather than abandoning the need for direction by showcasing the cast’s lack of skill. In the end, we’re left with as much sympathy for Dave, as we are for the entire cast. Pity and embarrassment on their behalf are not generally the emotional reaction a company wants to instill in their audience.


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